Social Media is a great way to reach your target market. It can increase brand recognition, improve customer relations, and is fast becoming a key factor in search engine optimization – all vital elements in a successful marketing campaign.
However, many businesses are hesitant about taking the plunge. For those finding the idea of a Social Media campaign a little daunting, Simply Business has produced a step-by-step guide to social media success that takes you from tentative novice to intrepid explorer in no time at all. Plus, it is interactive and offers further readings from experts for each stage described, so you can be sure you are learning from the best in the industry.
1. Get Set Up
There are hundreds of social networks out there, so do your research and find out which ones your customers are using. Wherever they are, you need to be. Setting up accounts on these platforms is relatively simple, but it is important to remember that in doing so you are entering into a two-way conversation with your customers so you need to think about your online voice (more about this in policy).
2. Objectives and Targets
As with everything, planning is key. What do you want to achieve? Is it brand awareness? More traffic? Increased leads? These are just a few possible objectives, defining your own is vital to your success. Once you know what they are you can figure out how you’re going to measure their achievement. The benefits of social media typically fall under two categories: making or saving money. However, some simple metrics for measuring success include conversation (people talking about your business), amplification (people spreading your message for you) and applause (people ‘liking’ what you’re posting).
Writing a social media policy is vital. You need to address how you present yourselves officially and the way in which your employees discuss your company online. One disparaging comment from a disgruntled employee can cause a social media-related PR disaster.
Your online tone needs to be cohesive and carefully considered (especially if you have a team of people posting updates), with the idea being to create relevant and engaging content that your online community cares about. Be consistent and make sure your employees know what is and is not appropriate to discuss on your social media channels. Remember, your policy shapes the digital face of your company.
Don’t rush into social media without a strategy. Be aware of how much time and effort you want to put into your success. Treat social media as you would any other method of marketing or customer service. This means research and responsiveness. It’s all well and good providing a means of conversation between yourself and the customer, but if you’re not responding to what they’re saying then you’re telling them that you’re not interested.
5. Perfecting Your Campaign
Once you begin your journey into social media, it is important to remember that it is a continuous effort. Social media is an ongoing conversation between you and your customers, so make sure you pay attention. Monitor your online reputation and if disaster strikes, refer to the policies that you have in place to deal with it. With all of this in hand you are ready to successful execute a social media campaign, so quit stalling and get tweeting!
[box]Written by Adria Saracino
Adria Saracino is a marketer and blogger. When not reaching out to interesting people on the web and executing business strategy, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.[/box]